Monday, May 31, 2010

New Hair-Do

So, I got that bikini wax. And to whoever you people in the computer were who said it was great or it didn't hurt at all, I say, "Liars!" and also "Damn Liars". I went quite conservative (as in my nether parts did not go to South America), and still...OMFG!!!!! What is wrong with you people? Really? What is wrong with you? Are you like masochists?

The part where she waxed areas that are properly called my legs went fine. But anything that was a little, ahem, more private revolted against the wax. It was revolting. The bikini areas kind of, uhhhh, bled a little everywhere the hairs were yanked from their follicles. It's a good thing I took a couple of ibuprofen before I went.

I did that Saturday. It's late on Monday and I still cringe every time I go to the bathroom and my undies are stuck to my body with the little bits of unsexy ooze coming from my newly smooth skin. This was probably one of the worst grooming incidents of my life (and I once waxed most of an eyebrow least it didn't bleed).

So, I told my new waxing friend (her name is Holli) as I was nearly crying that I really am not usually such a big baby because I did the whole natural childbirth thing and it wasn't that bad. Then, I started with my lamaze breathing.

She said that "where you are in the month can affect how much it hurts" and then she told me a story about getting waxed right before she had her daughter because people were going to be looking down there and so on. So, we started chatting (as women who are naked from the waist down often do) about how many kids we have and so on. And of course, she asked me about my c-sections as she ripped the hair from the scar.

Anyway, it turns out that Holli's first born was a 23-weeker and didn't make it. Having been faced with this line of conversation before, I think I said all the right things. I truly was sorry but I know she has probably made some kind of peace with it after 9 years and she certainly doesn't want my pity. So, I told her that I was sorry to hear it but very happy that she is able to talk about it now. She went on to have two children at full term (with cerclage and a take-it-easy approach during pregnancy, in case you were wondering how she did it).

In summation, bikini wax = bad idea jeans.

==Abrupt topic change==

Bobo is having the basic immunology panel done. He's getting a CBC, IgA, IgG, IgM, IgE, titers for diphteria and tetanus (to see whether he put up an immune response to his vaccines), environmental and food allergy panel, HIV test (we had to sign a special paper authorizing that), and one other thing I can't think of. All-in-all it works out to 9 tubes of blood. He's been poked 5 times so far and he's only given up 3 or 4 tubes of blood-total. That was Friday and Saturday. The lab is ordering a special blood draw kit for Tuesday. If anything comes back unusual, I am getting the referral to a pediatric specialist because I bet they'll have some better set up for blood tests on kids. I feel like they've done the right things (warmers to bring the veins to the surface, butterfly needle of tiny gauge, etc) but this lab can't (by their license) draw from leg or scalp veins which I think might be better/bigger. Bobo is my pin cushion.

Bobo was basically on house arrest/quarantine from May 19th to the 28th. On the 28th, I took him to Meijer (where I disinfected the cart with spray and wipes and we bought cupcakes for Chuckles's last day at day care), the doctor's office, and another lab. Saturday, we went to the outdoor plant store and the lab again. Sunday we visited with family and went to IHOP (where I disinfected the table and high chair). Today, Bobo has disgusting ear drainage indicating to me that he caught a cold somewhere. ((Sigh)) I'm waiting for the fever so I know what level of high alert I should be on. Right now, I am not on alert...just on fire watch. We'll see.

I turned in the FMLA paperwork to the doctor's office because Bobo needs to be home (obviously) since routine errands apparently are too much for him. He was doing really well. In fact, he's still doing pretty well. He's making more sounds that resemble words. He's added a word for bye, one for car, and my MIL thinks he said "Gecko" but I'm not so sure. He says "guh" but I think it means "dog". So, progress. Which is something we hadn't seen on the language front in a long time.

Tomorrow, Mr. Long-Suffering is taking Bobo for the blood draw with the special syringe kit. I'll let you know how it goes. I'll also let you know if my lady bidness heals up.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A New Blog Record

So, 8 comments! Wow. Nothing brings you guys out of hiding like my own existential crisis.

We interviewed 3 potential nannies over the weekend. All of whom we would hire (if their references and background checks pass muster). We have a one last nanny candidate coming today. I think maybe 30 people responded to the ad. I give SitterCity a thumbs up from that perspective.

So, we are thisclose to hiring ourselves a nanny. And now Mr. Long-Suffering is having second thoughts. He wants to stay home. I fowarded his call to HR. Giant Industrial Manufcaturing Company can sometimes be remarkably caring and accomodating to parents in crisis. He wants to take June off of work. (and do what? I don't know.) I think he wants to show the nanny how to take care of our kids. Make sure she's not a deranged criminal. We're thinking of interviewing her neighbors (just kidding, kind of).

So, things are looking up. I should have someone by the middle of the week.

We're getting rid of Lisa the Loud. She's still at the vet. They gave her an antibiotic shot for whatever it is she had that caused her to eliminate on Mr. Long-Suffering. I need to find her a new home because there is some concern (not mine...but other caring, intrusive individuals to whom we are related) that Bobo has cat issues/allergies. I haven't googled it, but do cats carry strep? Some people in teh extended family have suggested as much. (Google confirms they can/do.) So, we'll have to find out what it is Lisa had while she spent the weekend at the vet. I think I found a nice family who will keep her for the summer. If Bobo gets better, we might try taking Lisa back. We'll see. This is still quite tentative.

We're having the carpeting and duct work cleaned. I spent the weekend rearranging the furniture and vacuuming under and around everything, and I moved everything about. The new arrangement turns part of the living room into a preschool playland. I am not ashamed to say that I love it. My living room is a romper room and that's OK.

So, that's where I am today.

Friday, May 21, 2010

A New Day Brings Clarity

I did not cry once all day. Score one for me.

I took the morning at home (working from home due to sick kid). I logged in to the work computer at 6:30 am. I had Chuckles sitting on my lap typing out my emails. Then, we ate a leisurely breakfast together at the kitchen table. Bobo didn't get up until 7:30. Then we did our morning routine, I dropped Chuckles at school (where everyone was very mellow since they had all been up after bedtime) and came home and called my mom.

Mimi came over for a couple of hours and I joined SitterCity. I called 3 or four nannies on the phone, emailed 7 or 8 more, and posted a job online. I felt (feel) empowered. And if I don't have a nanny by Monday, it's OK. Bobo and I can suffer through another week of day care if it means we get good quality child care at the end of the rainbow. A lot of teachers and aides will be available in a couple of weeks.

I called the pediatrician's office back because Bobo developed sores on his mouth this morning. I had no idea what they are, but the office said it's probably impetigo. A quick google image search confirms. Bobo has impetigo. The good news just keeps coming.

Now, a few posts ago, I declared that sick blogging was boring. I still fundamentally agree that this is true, but I've decided to do it anyway. I'm crazy like that. I laugh in the face of boredom. And I'm a hypocrite. But that's OK. I'm in good company.

So, impetigo. According to Google Health: [Impetigo] is most common in children, particularly those in unhealthy living conditions. Now, I know I have mentioned that my housekeeping skills are not necessarily June Cleaver-y, but squalor is more of a colorfully descriptive word than an accurate description of my domesticity. The kitchen counter is a little sticky in that one spot, but overall, it's not too bad. I wouldn't eat off of the floor (after the 5 second rule expires) but that's mostly because Lisa The Loudest Cat Ever lives here. And the county early intervention people have been visiting this last month (plus we had company at Chuckles's birthday party) so I've been doing Company-Is-Coming Panic Cleaning lately (and I got that new vaccum). So overall, it's not the house.

Bobo has a pretty varied diet, although the quantities of food he eats fluctuate wildly. I am going to guess that his throat has been a little sore for at least the last month (since the pediatrician declared his throat raw at the last few visits and he has had strep throat for probably the last 3 weeks). He drinks 12-16 ounces of formula a day (still in a bottle), so I don't think he's missing out on any key nutrients.

Oh, about that bottle. He only takes it at night and nap. I had Chuckles off of the bottle by this age, but Bobo is not Chuckles. As with so many things with Bobo (like bottles, pacifiers, sleep training, potty training, etc), I keep saying, "We need to wait until he's healthy to do [fill in the blank]." Well, healthy has not been forthcoming.

So, now that we're at a crossroads and a crisis point. And I'm trying to put the pieces together. Let's assume it's all related, OK?

A couple of days after birth, we noticed scabs on Bobo's feet/toes. Is this significant? I don't know.
At 6 weeks old, he started sleeping through the night. That ended at age 3 months and has not been back regularly since then.
At 3.5 months, despite parents and sibling being vaccinated and not attending child care and still being in the baby bucket car seat (so not touching shopping carts or public high chairs), Bobo developed influenza.
At 4.5 months, I went back to work. Then the fun really began. Ear infections, colds, chicken pox, allergic reactions, antibiotics, strep pneumo, ear infections, I weaned, pink eye, ear tubes, a nosebleed that didn't stop and needed to be packed (after a minor fall), more ear infections, more pink eye, strep throat, thrush, impetigo.

So, that is not exactly a picture of health, but it's not exactly a smiley face with Xs for eyes either. So, maybe he's just a sickly kid. Nothing wrong with that. I just keep thinking that if he were healthy, he might be talking. We've spent so much time and energy managing his various illnesses. Maybe we haven't had the energy to play the sound mimic game. I'm tapping a well of undiscovered maternal strength and energy and vowing to manage illness and enjoy playful times as well. I've decided to scale my sleep back from 8 hours per night to 7. I know that sounds luxurious, but it's not like it's continuous hours of sleep.

OMG: this just in: Lisa the Loudest Cat Ever just peed on Mr. Long-Suffering. I guess Lisa is sick and needs to go to the vet. Yay. It's been 48 hours since I visited with a medical professional. I was starting to get jittery. Good thing I tapped that well.

Anyway, where was I? It turns out that our families have been avoiding us because they are all afraid they are going to catch whatever it is that Bobo has as the illness du jour. This is sad. It's very sad. Chuckles has an excellent relationship with his grandparents. And they won't go near Bobo for fear of contracting whatever it is he has on any given day. They don't want to get sick and be unable to visit their other grandchildren. But Chuckles suffers as well because they don't visit with us as a family. (And I personally, think they could visit without getting sick as Chuckles, Mr. Long-Suffering, and I have remained reasonably healthy throughout this and adults are pretty good about washing hands and not touching their eyes/noses/mouths.) We've stopped going places as a family. Chuckles and the parent of choice go to parties and visits and errands. Bobo stays home with the other parent. I didn't really notice it happening. It was gradual enough. But now, it's quite clear. Bobo is usually sick enough that he needs to stay home (to make sure he gets a good nap in his crib). I can't tell you the last time our family went somewhere together and Bobo didn't spend the whole time looking pitiful in my arms. I can't believe I didn't see all of this sooner. Oh, and I know he will be fine some day. Of this, I have no doubt. I'm more up-in-arms because I didn't see it sooner, didn't pull him from day care sooner, and still don't have a nanny lined up. It's the second guessing coupled with the fear of the unknown.

So, this has been kind of a downer post, but I'm sorting through my feelings in real time here.

If asked what I need from you, my 3 faithful readers, the answer is I need you to listen and validate my feelings. And if you have any insights, I'll take those too. Stories of how you missed your own child's illness or even stories of how you caught it early and then the kid puked in the waiting room are also good.

Oh, and I still feel very lucky. Very, very lucky. I am acutely aware that if we were in a different economic position, a chronic illness (or speech therapy) could very well bankrupt us (do you have any idea how much unicorns charge for their services?). If we were in a different time, some of these illnesses could have proved fatal to Bobo (if he had even survived birth with the whole placenta previa thing). So, yes, I am going to play the lottery again tomorrow. Somebody's gonna Lotto...might as well be me.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Unicorns, Water Sprites, and Speech-Language Pathologists with Openings

What are things that don't exist, Alex?

Anyway, I couldn't get Bobo a speech therapist. I am on the waiting list. I ended up getting him a developmental therapist with some experience with speech issues. I am on 7 waiting lists. The earliest opening is in 2-3 months.

Chuckles graduated from kindergarten tonight. It was cute and disorganized, and I did not cry one single tear the entire time. Even though I had cried intermittently the entire day.

Because Bobo is sick. Again. And badly. He just got over thrush. For gosh sake's my 18 month old contracted thrush, an opportunistic infection if ever there was one. He has subacute strep bacteria in his throat. They took a variety of cultures from him (ear cultures are pretty gross, for the record). He's sick. Again and we're going to do antibody studies because it sounds like Bobo has primary immunodeficiency. Which I am not googling. Any more. He gets sick with opportunistic infections. Ear tubes have meant that instead of being on oral antibiotics constantly, he's now on antibiotic ear drops and eye drops every other week. Our pediatrician told us in no uncertain terms that Bobo needs to leave day care for at least 6 weeks so he can be healthy enough for some of the tests. It's hard to do antibody studies when you have an active infection.

I'm a wreck. I had made my peace with our day care. I liked it plenty. Chuckles flourished there. But Bobo is not Chuckles. Every child is different. Don't compare your kids. And CHuckles just graduated. So, we're getting a nanny. On Monday. Mind you, I don't have a nanny picked out, but Bobo can't go back, so I don't know what I am doing. The grandparents are not willing to be stop-gap childcare for us. I could take vacation or something. I don't know. The pediatrician said he can't write us out on FMLA for this. We just need a week. TOmorrow, I am calling nannies and interviewing them this weekend with a Target Date of June 1st.

So, I'm crying and I think I totally missed all of Chuckles's graduation because unbeknownst (is that spelled right?) to me, Bobo had a 102-deg fever during the graduation. He's on antibiotics. Why did he spike a fever? And now he's in bed coughing. ANd I'm weeping and blogging. And crying. And not cute Bachelorette-style tears but the big snotty, puffy faced kind.

I have to go to bed now. I'm sure I'll get sleep...not. Good night.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Other Important News

I forgot to mention that my new vacuum cleaner is a Hoover WindTunnel Bagged (not self-propelled). This thing drags you around the room so I am really glad we opted to save the 50 bucks and not ge the self-propelled version.

Also, I am really sorry that I have been spelling vacuum wrong in these posts. I just like the double-c next to the double-u.

The deal at amazon is better than I got. I had to pay sales tax because I shopped at a store. So a 7% mark-up for the government. With free shipping and no tax, I'd say buy it from amazon (and buy it because it works)!

It does have some drawbacks like a dorky cord winding area that interferes with the on-board cleaning attachments, but if I need to access the attachments, chances are that it is plugged in anyway, so that's not a big deal.

I had the hose cover part C issue that some reviewers at amazon mentioned. It has not been a big deal yet but I haven't used the attachments much (should vacuum couch...need to find spare change).

All-in-all, a good vacuum so far. My previous Hoover is still going strong at 12 years old, but I don't vacuum often so it's lightly used. I bought a new one because the technology has gotten better and we have a multi-floor house so I moved out old vacuum to the lower level and the Panasonic we were using there can go to the garage for the cars (instead of dragging the Shop Vac out there from the basement).

The Evaluation

We had our evaluation with the county early intervention people yesterday. They looked at Bobo as a whole child. They evealuated fine and gross motor skills, social/emotional Bobo, and silent Bob.

So, some nuggets:

Bobo thinks, "This is the best thing EVER! Two, 2, TWO pretty ladies came to my house with the express purpose of playing with me. Me! Not my brother but me! And I got to eat cinnamon goldsifh crackers to show up my pincer grip. They played with me! I got to throw a balloon and kick and smile and charm. Uninterrupted attention. Yippee. What else can I mess up to get more of this?"

Dina and Kate were wonderful with him. One of them was a behavioral therapist and the other was a speech-language pathologist. They banged a drum and played a mimicking game (wherein he did not mimic any sounds). They read him a story. They stacked blocks, watched him eat, played Duplos, rolled cars, etc. He got to point to body parts and do the hand motions to "The Wheels on the Bus".

He screamed like a pteradactyl. He said, "oh oh", which is like "uh oh" but even less. He said, "Muh" while signing for more. He said, "Gah" while pointing at a wooden cat. He smiled. He charmed. He was delighted. He failed his expressive language portion of the exam. Pretty spectacularly.

Our Wednesday meeting has not been canceled which means Bobo qualifies for services, so today, like the good little mommy I am, I started calling speech-language pathologists and getting put on fricken waiting lists because OMG, there are no SLPs with openings. There are a few who work in the schools and have summer openings, but then I am right back here in August. Two of the SLPs told me they have kids in their programs turning 3 in September or October and I can get in then. I even tried going to the self-pay play clinic. They have no openings, and we're on their waiting list. So, then I started calling behavioral therapists with bachelors degrees in speech/language (and Masters Degrees in whatever). I left several messages. I called 7 SLPs/BTs and no one has any openings. I guess I will keep calling because it is that important. Note to all of you: get training and certification in'll never be unemployed.

I don't think I have anything else to say except Chuckles is graduating from kindergarten on Thursday and his Jostens cap and gown came home yesterday and I started tearing up. Stupid mom.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Fun New Game

Fun New Game: Let's play "Stomach Virus or Food Poisoning"?

Let's see. There were items to indicate that it was either food poisoning or a tummy bug. I'm not sure which, but I did spend 7 hours on the couch with intermittent consciousness. Which sounds like fun. Until you realize there was vomit involved. Good news? Children unaffected.

What else?
I would like to tell you the crazy that this Early Intervention is, but I don’t think I can fully capture it. Here goes:

We are doing the eval on Monday, but they won’t tell us then whether Bobo needs therapy. We need to wait for Wednesday’s review meeting. But the review meeting won’t take place if he doesn’t qualify for services. (So if you're real smart like I, you can figure out what it means if your meeting isn't cancelled.)

So, if he doesn’t need therapy, they will cancel the Wed mtg after the Mon mtg. On Wednesday at the review meeting, we need to name the person we want to do the therapies (that we don't know until the meeting he needs).

So she told me to interview the therapists and have one (them?) picked out by Wednesday. So I am going through their resumes online right now. How do you pick someone? She told me to call and interview them. Most of them only work 9:30-3 M-F, so do I pick one who does evenings and weekends or someone with a lot of experience who might not be current on latest info or not energetic or someone young and inexperienced but playful?

Moving on....

Chuckles turned 5, and I did not die. I cannot believe I am the mother of a 5-year old. A 4-year sounds like a big toddler, a preschooler perhaps. But a 5-year old is a kid. A real-live person.

We threw a birthday party for him. 53 people came. There was a giant, inflatable thing in my backyard with a slide and obstacles and jumping areas. And it was awesome. We got 3 out of 6 grandparents to go into it. There was some rain. We had a campfire. And S'mores! There was my version of a pinata (a Trader Joe's bag on a pulley system in the front yard). There were kids and cake. And leftovers (which have been discarded, see also Food Poisoning, possible). How awesome would it be to give your entire family and all your friends food poisoning? The answer is not awesome at all. Only Mr. Long-Suffering, my dad, and I were sickened, so I think maybe we all just caught a bug.

Chuckles received too many toys, a gaggle of books, and enough clothes to rival any sorority sister. And, of course, he wants more. But he's being parented firmly but lovingly back into reality ("Are you kidding me? You cannot get a new toy/book. You just got a million new Zhu-Zhu pets/Transformers/cars/sprinklers.")

Bobo had the gall to smile at me the other night while awake at 1 am. Dang him! Dang him to heck! He and I spent a lovely lightning-filled evening together from 11 pm until 2am where every time I set him down he cried like the crib was made of lava. Then, in an act of quiet desperation, I called my husband (who was at work) and demanded to know where I had left the ibuprofen (sure, that sentence reads funny, but it was the middle of the night and when upright, the child was smiling at me. There is nothing more infuriating than that.) So, ibuprofen was administered and he was kept upright for the requisiste 15 minutes for it to kick in, and then, I laid him down. And I slept. Sweet baby Bobo, sleep is a glorious thing (especially when recovering from Vomit-Fest 2010).